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SpaceX Will Fly Astronauts Before Boeing

SpaceX Will Fly Astronauts Before Boeing

"Safely and reliably flying commercial crew missions for NASA remains the highest priority for SpaceX", Benji Reed, SpaceX's director of crew mission management, said in a statement. - Alan Shepard, John Young are some of America's first explorers into the great unknown, but Friday NASA will announce who will be America's next space pioneers.

The astronauts will be the first Americans to launch into orbit from US soil since NASA's space shuttle program shut down in 2011.

The space agency's priority is safe, reliable and cost-effective travel to low-Earth orbit and back (at least for now) for the crewed flight tests called Demo-1 by SpaceX and Orbital Flight Test by Boeing.

According to NASA website, Williams - a veteran of two space mission expeditions - is now training for the first post-certification mission of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft - the second crewed flight for that vehicle - and her third long duration mission aboard the International Space Station. Their mission will launch in mid-2019, if everything goes according to plan.

Recent delays have pushed back the first flights of the Starliner and crewed Dragon to 2019, with uncrewed test flights hopefully happening in November for SpaceX or late this year, early next year for Boeing. He has a doctorate in engineering and is a flight test engineer and colonel in the Air Force. Hurley is a retired Marine Corps colonel and test pilot who has also piloted space shuttles Endeavor and Atlantis. "As a test pilot, it doesn't get any better than this". "But you know, it looks like it might". "It will be thrilling to see our astronauts lift off from American soil, and we can't wait to see them aboard the International Space Station".

The first Starliner post-certification mission, yet to be formally scheduled, will fly NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Sunita Williams.

On the left, NASA astronaut Suni Williams, fully suited in SpaceX's spacesuit, uses the display inside a mock-up of the Crew Dragon spacecraft in Hawthorne, Calif., during a testing exercise on April 3.

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NASA introduces the astronauts assigned to the first flights of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. By naming crews, NASA is signaling its belief that these astronauts will fly sometime soon. Those were Behnken, Boe, Hurley and Williams. The astronauts have been training with SpaceX and Boeing, on top of their NASA work, ever since.

NASA has always been working on developing its commercial crew programme while it can focus on its space exploration projects, the report added.

Ferguson isn't now a NASA employee, though he served as an astronaut from 1998 to 2011 and commanded the final Space Shuttle mission.

With these launches the United States will recover its prominence in the space race after seven years of depending on Russian infrastructure to send its astronauts into space.

The firm has come a long way from first announcing its Crew Dragon ship a mere month ago. "This accomplished group of American astronauts, flying on new spacecraft developed by our commercial partners Boeing and SpaceX, will launch a new era of human spaceflight", Mr. Bridenstine said.

Glover, who also joined NASA in 2013, summed it up simply. "This is a test pilot's dream".

Both vehicles are capable of reaching the ISS autonomously, and will do so and return to Earth before humans climb aboard. SpaceX has leased NASA's historic Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida to launch Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.